Don’t ignore the middle of the country!

“Nothing happens in the midwest”. I won’t say who said it, but it absolutely makes my blood boil. I’ve heard this several times during my time at Hackaday. Aside from being so insanely arrogant and dismissive, it is also completely inaccurate.

Some people believe you absolutely have to be on a coast to be part of anything interesting. In the modern age of the internet, geographical location is becoming less and less of an issue. People are collaborating on projects that span the world. Here at hackaday we see projects quite daily that are spawned from a forum linking hackers to a common theme with virtually no central geographical point.  Robots, video games, open source software, tools, and art installations have all sprung from the diaspora that is the hacker culture without any necessity for being located on a coast.

With tools like 3d printers becoming common in hackerspaces collaboration on physical design is even being spread geographically. You could be in your garage in Arkansas, assembling a machine that was designed by someone in Minnesota, and inserting code that was uploaded by someone in Kansas!

Sure, we all know the coasts are great. High concentrations of like minded people as well as the culture you can find anywhere near the ocean. But please, don’t ignore the middle, it makes you sound like antiquated ass.

Comments

  1. Johnny O. Farnen says:

    Here in Nebraska, we have an edge over you Coasters: less competition and a plethora of salvage no one else knows what to do with. I mean yeah, Nebraska still is as flat and boring as one would think, but look at the bright side: your quad copter is hard pressed to hit a tree while in flight…

  2. FDP says:

    Few parts of America are homogeneous, and where you live has nothing to do with who you are or what you are capable of. Next time just tell that to the person making the generalization. Or better yet, do something more positive than just posting a rant to help educate. The Kiwi’s have done a great job of making the point that back-country does not mean simple minded. You’ve got a blog Caleb, feature a few personal stories about hackers from small-town middle America who have done something amazing. There are plenty of them out there…

  3. Jonathan says:

    Were did you get that map? It has a big hole in the Florida Pan Handle the needs to be filled. Emerald Coast Community of Makers is open in Pensacola,FL

    http://www.eccmakers.com

    We are still recovering from flood damage a few weeks ago. We keep finding other horrible things wrong with the building and getting detoured to fix them. But hey Rents free so what do you expect.

    We have an active forum and a great group of people.

  4. MrMiz says:

    My personal experience in Colorado is that farmers invented hardware hacking and have been doing it for so long that its almost common place. Most of them don’t strive to show there work but only care about making it work for them. On a vary rare instances you’ll find a whole farm community that uses something one guy hacked together and everybody uses. Basically the new hot making community is just a bunch of young people find out that old people are always right(I’m one of the young people that only now understands the brilliance of my Grandfather).

  5. Warren says:

    I live around Kansas City and find it to mostly be a hyper-suburbanized tessellation of dismal sameness and about 95% like it that way (the other 5% are makers and science teachers). In contrast, the rural people of Missouri exhibit a sense of self-reliance and ingenuity that seems like it is from a different generation. What most would call a hack is what they call everyday life. Sometimes all a person needs is the ignorance of what they can’t do, perspiration takes care of the rest.

  6. Uugh, NOTHING happens in Utah!!!

  7. Dynamo Dan says:

    Nice flamewar going on here ;)

  8. willrandship says:

    Sparkfun is in Colorado. Should be telling enough.

    • Edward Becerra says:

      That depends on WHICH half of Colorado you’re in. Once you get oh.. about 40 miles East OR West of the front range, population drops off rapidly, and towns become places that basically roll up their sidewalks at night.

      I know, I live in Northeaster Colorado. My entire town has a total population of 900 people. No, that’s not a typo, and it’s not missing a zero. Nine Hundred people.

      And a whole lot of cattle, buffalo, corn and wheat.

      We were still using dial-up out here all the way into the mid-2000’s and I was considered a crazed, dangerous risk-taker when I volunteered to let the local ISP put me on a “highly experimental” project using highly directional WiFi to give me the IMPOSSIBLY huge speed of…

      256 kilobytes a second.

      Yeah.

      Now, the local ISP has fibered it’s home town, and has give cable customers the option to have 10mbit/mbit connections, but it’s still easily $60 a month for that, and they’re barely making a profit – the money all goes to infrastructure upgrades.

      Rural areas are often well behind the curve this way. We can’t help it. We’re too busy FEEDING the ungrateful people in the cities to stay current with the latest cool tech.

      It’s frustrating.

      Ed Becerra

      • pcf11 says:

        Now let me see if I have this straight. City folks are ungrateful because it costs more per customer to connect hicks in lower population density areas? That about sums up what you said doesn’t it?

        Those dirty lazy city slickers should develop some kind of technology that makes the country more egalitarian when it comes to physical connectivity dontcha think? Perhaps right after you clodhoppers come out with noise canceling glasses that have, objects in lens are closer than they appear, etched in them!

        If you don’t like living out in the sticks then move. That is what all the people in cities did. If you want frustrating how about driving, if that is what you want to call it, down Varick St., trying to get into the Holland Tunnel, while watching someone using a walker on the sidewalk pass you, and fade over the horizon! I’ve been there, and done that you know?

        You sit there and say to yourself, they’re just doing that to piss all of us stuck in traffic off. Because there is really nothing south of the tunnel worth walking to at that hour.

        Life in cities is just one blissful moment like that after the next. Which might be why I live out in the country now myself.

        P.S. Farmers don’t give city dwellers food price breaks. Food costs more in built up areas, but that is likely the fault of retailers. Plus the food isn’t really too fresh either. Spiteful rednecks send all the crap crops to cities, reserving the best for themselves.

  9. obsoehollerith says:

    It’s got a middle? I just automatically believed that was an urban legend…

  10. skizzle says:

    Representing the 913!

  11. Keegan says:

    Nothing happens in Oregon :(

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